Butt and Cox take new roles in Man Utd Academy revamp
Written by Simon Austin — July 22, 2019
NICKY BUTT has taken on a new Head of First Team Development role at Manchester United, with Nick Cox stepping up to replace him as Academy Manager.
Butt, 44, had been Academy Manager since February 2016. As TGG has reported, the development role is becoming more and more popular at elite Academies, with clubs seeing the need to give dedicated support to young players making the step up to senior football.
Blackburn Rovers, Fulham and Southampton have all recently created and filled this role, while Huddersfield are in the process of recruiting a development coach. United said Butt’s job would be “to create a seamless journey for young players stepping up to the next level”.
The former midfielder, who played 387 games for the Red Devils, will report directly to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and “work closely with the manager and first-team coaching staff to continue the strong bond between Academy and first team”.
Butt will “continue to be a key contributor on all major Academy decisions and be part of the Technical Board on wider football leadership.”
Cox had been Academy Operations Manager at the club since May 2016. He was previously Academy Manager at Sheffield United, where he spent three and a half years, and Watford, where he was for 12 years.
He will “lead the full Academy programme and head up both the coaching programme and operational services, including sports science, education and analysis. In his role, he will continue to work closely with Nicky Butt and will report to John Murtough, Head of Football Development.”
Ed Woodward, Manchester United Executive Vice Chairman, said: “These changes will further enhance the excellent work and results we have seen over many decades in our Academy system and enable us to continue our proud traditions of producing world-class players capable of playing and excelling in the first team."
Butt added: "Manchester United is in my DNA and this is a very proud moment for me as I take on this new role. I am passionate about nurturing, developing and coaching the talent we have here to become top players at this club.
“Under Ole’s leadership, our vision will ensure that we continue to provide the right environment for our young players to thrive in.”
Cox (above) said: “Having spent over 20 years working to support the development of young people, it is an honour to be asked to lead the Manchester United Academy.
“Traditionally we have always been leaders in creating an outstanding environment in which young footballers can thrive. Today's changes will further enhance the excellent structure that we have in place to maximise the potential of all of our young players.”